A new lawsuit filed by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia claim the president’s financial links to the Trump Organization violate a Constitutional rule. The majority of the lawsuit is focused on alleged violations of the emoluments clause of the Constitution, based on Donald Trumps businesses taking payments from foreign governments. The clause prohibits the president and other government employees from accepting foreign payments without prior congressional approval.
“We have economic interests that are impacted, but the most salient factor is that when the president is subject to foreign influence, we have to be concerned about whether the actions he’s taking — both at home and abroad — are the result of payments that he is receiving at the Trump Hotel, payments that he is receiving at Mar-a-Lago, payments that he is receiving at Trump Tower, payments that he is receiving in all of his other far-flung enterprises, and he brags about it,” said Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh
If the case is permitted to proceed by a federal judge, copies of Trump’s personal tax returns will be requested during the discovery process to gauge the extent of his foreign business dealings. Frosh also stated, “This case is, at its core, about the right of Marylanders, residents of the District of Columbia and all Americans to have honest government. To fully know the extent of Trump’s constitutional violations, we’ll need to see his financial records, his taxes that he has refused to release.”
Donald Trumps administration has 60 days to file a response. After the response is filed, the court will decide if the case is permitted to move forward. You can read more details of the lawsuit here.